Re: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission/AEC joint working party into anti-competitive electoral preactice

Subject: How to Lose votes

Obsessed with the key Australian value of “a fair go”, and mindful of the poor ratings achieved by the previous one-sided federal election in which Latham was hosed in straight sets, the Howard government has decided to make the race more even this time, to make for more interesting viewing.

It has therefore been decided that the Opposition will select a new, younger, vibrant and exciting leader and that the government will sacrifice several million votes between now and the election.

Accordingly, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have been in their roles for some months and are going along nicely. The government has now begun divesting itself of votes and we will keep you informed as to how this is being achieved.

Further auditing by the AEC and ACCC reveals the Howard government has also divested itself of the following votes:

  • Doing nothing about global warming at all, ever. (2 million votes)
  • Denying the existence of global warming altogether (this figure included in the above)
  • Stating repeatedly that the government knew nothing about the way AWB did business in Iraq (278,000 rural votes)
  • Helping AWB do business in Iraq (this figure included in the above). Allowing Downer and Vaile to speak publicly about why, as the responsible ministers, they were not responsible (179,000 urban votes)
  • Appearances by Howard in the bush in an Akubra hat and RM Williams gear. (91,000 rural votes and a stern letter from R M Williams clothing division)
  • Assertion by Howard (see also H Morgan, R Walker etc) that to be anti- nuclear is to be anti-green (40,000 votes and amusement on all sides)
  • Arranging for media coverage of Howard’s frequent ‘surprise visits’ to Iraq and Afghanistan (this to include footage of Howard running from a smoke filled aircraft, filmed by a cameraman set up outside the plane to allow for a nice panning shot of the war hero in action) (426 votes)
  • Any statement made by B Nelson concerning defence, history, equipment, women or education (120,000 votes per statement)
  • Everything about Tony Abbott (260,000 votes. Women)
  • Delivery by Australian Federal Police of young Australian drug mules into hands of Indonesian authorities (2,870 votes)
  • Howard government’s new Workplace Legislation (739,000 votes and firming of opposition resolve)
  • Ian Thorpe’s retirement and subsequent loss of Howard photo opportunities (287 votes)
  • Hyacinth (800 votes)
  • Appointment of Downer’s daughter to position in her father’s Dept. (683 votes).

Signature obscured by AEC FOI officer